Darlington

Hi Everyone —

Last week was a pretty cool week for me. We tested over at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Monday and Tuesday. We got our cars running well. We were really pleased by the time the test ended. When it started, we weren’t as happy, but we turned things around. We learned a lot. I think we really needed those two days of testing when the other cars were around to gauge where we are. We tried a bunch of different things. I am really pleased with what we learned. We took some of that technology to Darlington.

Speaking of Darlington, Michael McDowell did a great job there. He had never seen the place before. It’s funny talking to him because the only place he had seen the track before was on his EA Sports video game. He wanted to know if the walls were crooked like in the game and they actually are. He was able to figure it all out because of the game. He qualified in the top 20. I was so proud of him for that. He raced all night long and ended up being the top finishing rookie of the race. He finished 28th, which isn’t great, but he certainly learned a lot.

I ended up finishing 24th. It was a hot race. Man, I got hot in the NAPA Camry. Reutimann got a top-20 in the UPS Camry. Our results are not what we strive for, but we are getting so much closer to where we need to be. Every week we are nicking at being up there in the top 10, top 15. Darlington was good for us and I expect good things at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

On the off-track side, we taped our Monday night television show at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The fans showed up to watch that. We had a really good turn out. One of the fun things that SPEED let’s me do is wear my NAPA logo on my shirt. That means a lot to me. It doesn’t matter where we are … I think people think of me and NAPA as one.

I hope you have seen the new NAPA commercials. The new commercials are a huge hit to fans. The latest one with the stalker has the fans talking. I hear about it all the time. The comments and thoughts from fans on the very first commercial that launched this season with the wrecked car was so popular that fans want to buy the wrecked car at the NAPA souvenir rig! That’s really cool.

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day. I sure did. I took my family to lunch at The Peninsula Club. It’s located about two miles from the shop. My Mom said she lived in North Carolina for 11 years and Sunday’s meal was the best she has ever had! It reminded me about my Dad. He used to say that every steak he had was the best one. I asked my Mom if she said that because of what my Dad used to say, but she said no. It literally was the best meal she ever had. That really made me feel good.

I just got done taping my XM Satellite Radio show, “Michael Waltrip Out Loud” with Tony Rizutti and Rich York, the producer. We had a special guest so if you have XM, please listen in on Thursday night so you can find out who it is. I think Tuesdays are the end of my week because my radio show helps wrap up the week before. Now I am starting to switch gears and start focusing on the rest of the week.

Just to give you a glimpse, Thursday we are having a luncheon for Dale Jarrett courtesy of UPS. Of course, we will be doing a lot of media and appearances for the All-Star Race. Speaking of the All-Star Race, you can help vote me in. I got word that we are in the top five of the Sprint Fan Vote. I haven’t really politicked a lot, but I am starting to do more. I think the strength of the NAPA fan base can help put us in contention to be voted in. Here’s what you can do:

Sprint customers can vote on your phones by texting “NASCAR” to 7777 and your votes count double
OR open this hyperlink:

http://www.nascar.com/promos/allstar/vote/

As they say on the campaign trail … Vote now. Vote often. I really appreciate it.

– Michael

Leave a Reply